Reflections National Arts Contest
Students in Pre-K through grade 12, and a special artist division are invited to create theme-based artwork in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography or visual arts. Membership in Virginia PTA provides the opportunity to participate in the National PTA Reflections Arts Contest. This competition encourages students to explore the arts and express themselves by providing positive recognition for their artistic efforts. Since it was founded in 1969 by Mary Lou Anderson, millions of students have benefited from this program.
2023-2024 School Year Reflections Theme: “I am Hopeful Because….”
HOW IT WORKS
Students submit their completed work of art with an artist statement, to their local school PTA’s Reflections contest in the Fall.
- Local PTAs celebrate winners at the school level, and then forward winning entries in each age division and art category to their City/County Council PTA. If your school is not located in a Council, then your school PTA’s winning entries should be submitted directly to Virginia PTA for regional judging.
- Council PTAs select winning entries and submit winning entries for each age division and art category to Virginia PTA. Council PTA’s hold Student Awards Celebrations in late winter/early spring.
- Virginia PTA selects and submits state winning entries to National PTA to compete against students from across the United States, and holds a Student Awards Celebration in April.
- National PTA selects and announces winners of the national-level contest in May.
* If your school PTA hasn’t been sharing information about Reflections, reach out to your school PTA! They may need a volunteer to help organize the arts contest for your school community.
NATIONAL PTA AWARDS
- Merit Award: Bronze Medal; Certificate of Merit; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
- Award of Excellence: $200 Young Artist Scholarship; Silver Medal; Certificate of Excellence; Work featured in the virtual exhibition
- Outstanding Interpretation Award: $800 Young Artist Scholarship; Gold Medal; Certificate of Outstanding Interpretation; Work featured in the virtual exhibition; $200 Prize for Local PTA Unit
Identify a chairperson for your Local PTA Reflections Arts contest and start planning how you will collect entries and celebrate students using the Local Leader Toolkit and resources linked below.
Please remember that while you will only forward the first place entry (Outstanding Interpretation) for each age division and art category, your PTA should recognize all students who participated and also identify Award of Excellence (2nd place) and Award of Merit (3rd place) winners.
Local Units who are within Council boundaries should submit first place entries for each age division and art category to their Council PTA. You can find your Council affiliation in your MemberHub/Givebacks under ‘Unit Data’.
Local Units that DO NOT have an active PTA Council in their county/city should submit first place entries in each age division and art category directly to Virginia PTA for a first round of regional judging.
2023-2024 Reflections Due Dates for Virginia
- Sept 18th: Virginia PTA Reflections Webinar VIEW RECORDING | VIEW PRESENTATION
- Oct/Nov: Students submit entries to local school PTA based on time-line set by school PTA
- Dec 15th: Local Unit first place submissions are to due to Council PTAs
- Jan. 5th: Non-Council Local Unit first place submissions due to Virginia PTA
- Jan 17th: Council winners due to Virginia PTA
- Feb 20th: Virginia PTA winners announced
- Apr 13th: Student Awards Celebration (Richmond)
- May 2024: National PTA Winners announced
Resources & Tools To Run Your Reflections Contest
Submit Your Unit’s Reflections Winners
All final entries sent to the Virginia PTA will be electronic.
Please label all entries with the following naming convention
School. Art. Division. LastName. FileType
Examples: KeystoneES.Dance.Intermediate.Gupta. Art. | KeystoneES. Dance.Intermediate.Gupta.Entry
LOCAL UNIT SUBMISSION LINK (ONLY Local Units NOT IN A COUNCIL. Due Jan 5th)
COUNCIL SUBMISSION LINK (Council level entries. Due Jan 17th)
Reflections 2025-2026 Theme Contest
Nov. 1st – Theme entries due to Virginia PTA
Dec. 15th – Virginia PTA announces Virginia’s winning theme entry
May. 2023 – National PTA announces winning theme (see past themes)
2023 Virginia PTA Winning THEME Entries
- Believe In YOU! | A.E. Cherian, 10th grade, Grafton High School PTSA, York Council, Tidewater Region
- Viewing Life Through The Heart | B.L. Hollis 10th grade, King George High School PTSA, Fredericksburg, Northern Region
- Finding My Place | P. Carty, 11th Grade, Glen Allen High School, Henrico Council, Central Region
- Being a Leader Means |A. Uhl, 6th Grade, Fairfax Council, Northern Region
- The Beat of My Own Drum | G. Addotey, 11th grade Henrico Council, Central Region
Past & Future Reflections Arts Contests
- 2025-2026: Reflections Theme TBD (Enter the Theme Contest!)
- 2024-2025 Reflections Theme: Accepting Imperfection
- 2023-2024: Reflections Theme: I am Hopeful Because…
- 2022-2023: Show Your Voice | Virginia PTA Winners| National PTA Virtual Exhibit
- 2021-2022: I Will Change the World By |Virginia PTA 2021-2022 Winners| National PTA Virtual Showcase
- Previous Themes
If you have questions please email Virginia PTA’s Reflections Chair at Reflections@vapta.org